Golite have of late concentrated on the domestic market (USA) and now seem to be putting their emphasis on direct sales in the USA and less so on distributors as far as I can see. Golite produce some good quality products including their backpacks (Pinnacle and Jam) and the tents/shelters (Shangri-La). I received the December newsletter from Ultralight Outdoor Gear, which for those who don’t subscribe to it I have reproduced below about the problems that this has caused them in getting further suppliers from Golite. They have been able to source on the face of it a really good subsitute for the Shangri-La coming out soon from Eureka, the Wiki-Up SUL3 and Wiki-Up SUL4. These according to UOG are virtually identical to the GoLite Shangri-La 3 and 5 but with some added benefits.
My other favourite online retailer is Bob and Rose’s backpackinglight.co.uk and they also stock a Shangri-La alternative – the Luxe Outdoor Mini Peak II.
So UK buyers will have the opportunity to find alternatives to the excellent Shangri-La shelters.
Extract from UOG’s December’s newsletter
I used the Wiki-Up SUL3 and discarded the centre pole, preferring to use my trekking poles and our Gram Counter Gear ‘Stick Thingy’ as the jointing piece to make up the full length – saving ounces! You also need rubber feet for the trekking poles to avoid any damage to the tent fabric.
The tent only requires 6 pegs to pitch it but this assumes you use the same pegs for the inner and flysheet and don’t set up any of the storm guys nor peg out the mid point of the fly panels.
Here’s how it goes – in order to fully peg out the tent I took 6 micro pegs for the inner tent and 6 Titanium wire pegs for the main flysheet pegging points – these could be the same pegs but I think for the sake of 6 micro pegs I can get a better pitch by using separate.
You then require a further 5 pegs for the flysheet panel mid points and a further 6 for the Storm guys – the tent doesn’t come with guys, you have to make them up yourself.
When pitched with all these pegs in place the tent is magnificent and will throw off some pretty bad weather. Most occasions don’t require this level of pitching though.
The tent can easily accommodate 3 but I think it comes into its own with 2, sleeping either side of the centre pole there’s still lots fo room for personal gear alongside your sleeping mat. I used a large size Exped Synmat 7 UL – its a big mat but it fitted into the Wiki-Up SUL 3 comfortably.
Separation between the inner and outer is good especially when you use the storm guys to keep the tent shape.
The design doesn’t provide for a porch thats protected from the weather so if its bad you need to be quickly in and out – the upside is there’s plenty of volume inside to get yourself sorted once you’re in.
Weight-wise the Wiki-Up3 stacks up really well:
So the basic shelter I carried only weighed in at 1736grams. You need a lot of pegs to pitch it at its best but you can also get away with a lot less. I was using Gram-Counter Gear Micro pegs quite a lot for the non-essential pegging out points and they only weigh a few grams each.
The Gram-Counter Gear ‘Stick Thingy’ weighs just 44grams.
If you’re fancying a spacious shelter that you can stand up in and yet weighs hardly anything then this has to be an option.
AVAILABLE EARLY JANUARY 2013